At the beginning of the twenty-first century, there are 30,000 golf courses and 55 million people who play golf worldwide. In the USA alone, the value of golf club memberships sold in the 1990s was US dollar 3.2 billion. Underpinning this significant human activity is a wide variety of people researching and applying science to sustain and develop the game. The 11 golf science disciplines recognized by the World Scientific Congress of Golf have reported 311 papers at four world congresses since 1990. Additionally, scientific papers have been published in discipline-specific peer-reviewed journals, research has been sponsored by the two governing bodies of golf, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews and the United States Golf Association, and confidential research is undertaken by commercial companies, especially equipment manufacturers. This paper reviews much of this human endeavour and points the way forward for future research into golf.